Jack Dempsey and Snails? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-21-2008, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Jack Dempsey and Snails?

Hi, I am just wondering if Jack Dempseys would not eat snails. I'm not talking about small snails. No, I mean the larger mystery snails.

My Magicaly Harmonous Tank
1- Red Tail Shark
2- Dwarf Gouramis
6- Tiger Barbs
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-21-2008, 07:47 PM
I would think not.

They wouldn't probably *want* to eat them, and they probably can't crush a large snail's shell similar to what a puffer can do.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-21-2008, 09:47 PM
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Depends on the fish. I had two large black mystery snails with my Dempsey, and he killed and ate one of them but leaves the other alone. He will kill and eat any snail I drop into the tank, regardless of size, but ignores that one snail that's already in there. Snails *are* part of a Jack Dempsey's natural diet, so I'd say it's definitely a gamble.

Any snail I drop in the tank that's small enough gets swallowed whole. The fish then crushes the entire shell with the throat teeth, then spits out the broken bits of shell and swallows the soft tissues. For larger snails, he either crushes the shell with his jaws and sucks the snail out of the opening, or grabs it and bashes it against rocks and driftwood to break the shell. He's a really determined snail eater.

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post #4 of 6 Old 12-21-2008, 10:33 PM
Wow, really? That is very interesting.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-22-2008, 07:31 PM
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Pomacea diffusa are always at a risk getting eaten if kept with large fish especially aggressive CA and SA cichlids. While they have the ability to regenerate any lost eyes or antennae, this is no excuse to keep them with aggressive fish species that will constantly harass them and stress them to death. If you want some snails in your tank with JD, try horned nerites (Clithon corona). These have spines that may discourage from the JD from attemptng to eat but do not expect the nerites to eat on leftover foods and anything because they actually don't. They prefer algae and this has to be supplied constantly. I have no luck whatsoever so far trying veggies, snail jello and anything else other than BBA, green algae and a few other algae species.

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post #6 of 6 Old 12-23-2008, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your comments. I'll look into horned nerites

My Magicaly Harmonous Tank
1- Red Tail Shark
2- Dwarf Gouramis
6- Tiger Barbs
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